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tv   Fox News Reporting  FOX News  September 26, 2015 7:00pm-8:01pm PDT

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not a great campaign slogan. however, i'll see you on monday at 9:00. >> the pope's visit to america is making the front pages. >> we see the writing on the wall. we know that our numbers are gone. >> and fewer are joining religious orders. >> do you fear that some day this order could be extingt? >> yes, you have to think of it. >> is the pope coming to a country where religion is in trouble? or is there hope for renewal? >> i'll be a witness for christ, the world, all of the time. >> you're arguing there's an awakening? >> yeah. >> fox news reporting. losing faith in america. from new york city, here is bill pope francis arrived in america with much fanfare. as the most recognizable christian leader in the world,
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his very first visit to the united states is a significant event. but for all the excitement, has he arrived at a time when christianity in america is a faith in crisis? >> the pope's had a busy schedule this week, after meeting in cuba with fidel and raul castro. he flew into washington on tuesday. his first time ever on u.s. soil. >> god bless america. >> everywhere he's gone, he's been met with adoring crowds. not that his trip has been entirely without controversy. >> the effects of the environmental deterioration caused by human activity. >> i think the gentleman is playing the political role instead of the papal role.
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>> representative ball goss ar of arizona echoing critics of the pope, boycotted his speech because he felt this pope had become too political. >> he's got his own agenda in regards to the environment and climate change. redistribution of wealth and immigration. what he's trying to do is forefront the issue with his role as the pope, to influence that direction of those issues. >> but beyond questions of politics, there's a deeper problem that the church must face. for even as the pope dominates the news this week, this is a nation with a declining christian presence. a recent pew poll showed, the americans identifying as christians, nearly 10% drop. a large part of that decline came from catholicism. now only 1 in 5 americans identify as catholic.
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meanwhile, americans saying they have no particular religion at all grew significantly to almost 23% of the population. this decline has had serious consequences. in new york city alone, more than 30 catholic churches closed their doors in august. >> we see the writing on the wall. we were living in a church that was predicated on the '30s, '40s, and '50s. >> the archbishop of new york. >> huge cohesive catholic families that were having six, seven, eight, nine, ten kids, all in these concentrated cohesive neighborhoods. those days are over. we can long for them. we can grieve that they're past. there's no use crying over that spilt milk. it's gone, okay? so we've got to live with that. >> cardinal dolan is the one who ultimately decided which churches closed and which did not. >> our numbers are gone. we know that given the current
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realities, you can hardly assign a priest to a parish with 80 families when there's one a half mile away. >> how did you choose how you would consolidate? >> it wasn't easy. we've got some outside professionals who have a good track record of helping other diocese do this. they met with our people and looked at the demographics of the archdiocese and divided at that time the 370 or so parishes that we had. >> one of the churches that the archdiocese closed was this one. our lady of peace on the upper east side of manhattan said good-bye to its priest, had the locks changed, and is now holding services outside. as worshippers refuse to give up on their 100-year-old parish. it's the kind of scene that reflects what's been going on across the nation. >> let's face it, religious practice is down. why is that? i don't know. it's tough to graph.
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it's tough to graph the soul. >> the pope will soon be back in rome, but as the cheers fade, will he be leaving behind a country where the religious impulse is fading as well? when we come back, we'll look at christianity across america. how much trouble is it facing? and is there hope for renewal? s there hope for renewal. ♪ we all feel the calling to build something great. ♪ as we age, certain nutrients... longer than ever. ...become especially important.
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we've just seen the ballyhoo of the pope's visit. some churching closing here in new york city. but the problem goes deeper. if present trends continue, many worry about the future of the catholic church itself in america. we went to see a venerable order of nuns just 30 miles north of here to see if their story offered a clue about this phenomenon. the order of the marinal sisters
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was founded more than a sister ago, centered in new york, they devote their lives to service overseas. >> my first mission was new york city chinatown. >> sister rosemary has been a nun for 56 years. >> after that, i went to kenya. then i went to tanzania. they sent me up to canada where i worked with the first nation people. and then from there, i went to the congo. >> sister ro as she is known is on a break before she returns to her latest mission, kyrgyzstan in northern iraq. >> they said, will you go to iraq? and i said sure. >> i really admire the sisters. they go places people don't want to go. and they do incredible things. >> the newest sister is mara rutton. she made her first vows just last month. >> they work with refugees, handicapped people, and the poorest of the poor. and for me, it was just --
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that's what i wanted to do. i wanted to be with women like that. >> the problem is mara, at age 43, is a rarity among the sisters whose average age is in the 80s. does it bother you that the average age of the marinal sisters is now in the 80s? >> i won't say i haven't given that a lot of thought. it's a lot more uncertain than it was in the 1950s. will the order continue? will we get new sisters? that's a lot to think about. >> the current president of the congregation is antoinette. she joined marinal in 1964. when i was growing up as a young catholic, and if i were sitting across from you, you would look different to me, because you would be wearing a habit. and today you're not. >> the change came about because of the second vatican council. >> that council informally known as vatican 2 transformed the
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catholic church in the 1960s. >> vatican 2 is basically this incredible huge meeting of the catholic bishops, where they grappled with how to make the catholic message, or the catholic church more user friendly. that's kind of the short version. >> the changes brought by vatican 2 were first felt on superficial matters, like meat on friday and the habits of nuns. if you were walking down the street and wearing a habit, i would know you were a catholic nun. but if i see you now, i don't see that immediately. >> not in the dress. but if you were to trip and fall and i picked you up -- >> that might be true. >> you might want to -- >> does that bother you, that you don't have the same recognition? >> we should give the same honor to everyone. i don't want to be treated special. >> after vatican 2, the sisters, along with a large majority of american nuns, voted to remove their habits, and shed other traditions as well.
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what did vatican 2 mean to the marinal sisters? >> it was fantastic. we gradually got out of the more traditional works that we were in. such as schools and hospitals. and went to other places. went more on the margins of society, where people hadn't been before. i don't mean to be grandiose about it, but it gave us a sense, you know, that our founders wanted us to go out and be a reflection of god's love, and to go where the poor are, in order to show that love. >> whatever else it was, the era of vatican 2 was a turning point. the number of nuns in america hit its peak in 1965. and it's been falling ever since. there were 180,000 nuns in the u.s. 50 years ago. and only 48,000 today. some claim this was the inevitable outcome of demographic and cultural changes. but others claim it was changes within the church that helped
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bring this about. factions in the church seem more inclined to cultural relativism than to the conversion of souls. and question the church's exclusive claim on truth, while believing it was the church that had much to learn from the world. whatever the reason, sister noni who spent time in taiwan, is back in the united states facing a problem of a vanishing religious order. when she joined in the mid-1960s, marinal had more than 1,600 nuns worldwide. today it's just over 400. do you fear some day this order could be extinct? >> of course, you have to figure in the history of religious communities, in the church, religious orders have come and gone. they met a need in a certain time, and when that need has been fulfilled, they kind of passed on. so i've asked, hmm, now, do we fit in this cycle? have we completed what mother mary joseph started? >> it's also a religion that's in decline.
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you can see the numbers drop over the past several years. >> i think it's because the church, the churches tonight speak directly to the heart of the people. and where people are at. is it that people are leaving the church, or has the church left people? >> despite the problems, she's hopeful for the church's future. >> the great thing about catholicism is that it really is one size fits all. but the "all" has different approaches. we all have different ways, and we all have different movements that take us to god. >> when we come back, we look at some other churches whose different ways and different approaches may be helping religion make a comeback. what do they have that the others are missing?
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though the marinal order is not what it once was and r, there are pockets of strength in america where the faith sometimes against the odds is bubbling up. middle tennessee, an area often referred to as the buckle of the bible belt. and you can see why. everywhere you look there's a different church. but even among these places of worship, one baptist church stands out. >> back in the early 2000s there were probably 80, 100 people coming every sunday, and we would have at least 75 or so in sunday school. >> larry montgomery was the chair of deacons for scenic
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drive baptist church for more than a decade. when he took over, the church was alive with faith. and parishioners. but in recent years, the numbers began to dwindle. >> over time, our congregation got older, the majority of them were retirement age. >> not too long ago, it would have been shocking to see a southern baptist church struggling. but not anymore. in fact, southern baptist churches, the nation's largest protestant body, had been declining for the better part of a decade, losing more than 200,000 members in 2014 alone. scenic drive was a victim of that trend. >> it had gotten to where we were probably spending 1,500, $2,000 more a month than we were bringing in. >> larry feared it was the end of his church. >> i was -- well, the business and finance committee, we met
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regularly anyway to try to keep up with the finances of the church. as good stewards would. but we finally faced the inevitable. and realized we were going to have to do something different. if the lord didn't step in, we were going to have to sell the property or do something with it. >> then by luck, or was it providence, there was a ray of hope. >> we used to have our prayer meetings in different homes of the congregation. >> while scenic drive was fading away, dr. ruth gatis, an egyptian baptist minister, was holding worship services for a growing arabic population in the area, and his followers were looking for a church to call home. so he met with the local pastor. >> and he said that, here's a church. and they were thinking really to kind of leave that. are you interested? i said, yes, i am. >> scenic drive had a decision
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to make. they could turn their place over to a mega church looking to expand, or to a local minister preaching from whatever room he could muster up each sunday. >> when we brought it before the congregation, it was unanimous. we felt we needed to offer the arabic church the opportunity to take over this property to give them a home. >> there was actually one more option. the value of the land the church was sitting on, around $1 million. they never considered going for the money. >> i really honestly don't think we really had any other choice. it wasn't ours to sell. it belongs to the lord. >> and it stayed that way. >> the first day was really good. we have a big number, a lot of people came. it was between the whole church and the new church, it was a wonderful time. >> that was bittersweet. you're anxious and sad at the same time.
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but it was really heart-warming to see how well they received the church. >> you may have noticed the writing on the wall. scenic drive officially became the arabic baptist church of murfreesboro. dr. gatis dedicated the church on july 12th. >> we're dedicating ourselves -- >> in the arabic-speaking christians came. >> it's like a home away from home. and so it's very important to understand the need of all the people, and trying to meet it. >> but others came, too. >> i think that's what heaven's going to look like. it's going to have lots of different looks, colors, and different sounds, different languages. if we can do that here on earth, it would be great. >> fill us with love for one another. >> language is not a problem. dr. gattis's wife carol
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translates for the english-only speakers looking to enjoy the service. >> we have hope and trust -- >> parishioners listen to her through headphones. >> as we love one another, we show your love. in the name of jesus, amen. >> you know what, jesus is the same. he's for hindu, muslim background, whatever it is. accept christ as savior, it will be the same. >> i feel a nice close connection with dr. gattis. i really enjoy his preaching. i like the style of the service. >> still, not everyone gets it. >> i do get a lot of comments from people saying, gosh, this is strange. that this church would turn over this property to an arabic baptist church. and i think, well, why? wouldn't you want god's work to
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continue? >> and thanks to this unlikely union, continue it does. the arabic baptist church is just one unexpected spot that's reversed the national trend. truth is, you never know where religious fervor will pop up. it may look like a rock concert, but this is a christian worship service. >> this is not the kind of church i grew up in. >> the music is the one thing that connects people more than anything else. we believe music was created by god, and for god, and the idea of christian worship and so on, it can wake us up. i don't think we have to be stuck in the old days. it's hard to connect to the 21st century, you know, 25-year-old, to something that happened 1,700
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years ago. it's much, much better. >> a thriving church with pe pentacostal roots, it's grown from a congregation of 45 people to 15 cities across the globe. this one is in new york city. >> love the songs. we decided to come. this feels real. >> it feels like home. >> faith talks. faith has a language. >> your pews are chairs. >> i guess you would call them pews, yes. >> brian houston founded hillsong church with his wife, bonnie. what void do you believe hillsong fills? >> i feel no matter what statistics say, no matter what people say, no matter what you would see in churches, where
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perhaps they're declining, my personal experience for people is deep down inside of them, fundamentally, they're looking for something spiritual in their lives. and that kind of makes our job easy. >> houston says at face value, his church is entertaining, and that brings people in, them there is ger people. hillsong's tradition in the timeless message of faith. >> the message of god's word. it goes back in time. but the methods have to change to 21st century. in the 21st century we're reaching a different demographic of people. >> i think your church would be described as forward leaning. but do you still rely on the traditions of the faith? >> yeah, we do. we have our own sets of tradition. we are very determined to hold on to the foundational doctrines. what i would call strong
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theology, which is the ultimate order of the resurrection of jesus christ, we're very conservative when it comes to the message in that sense. but again, hopefully much more relatable, much more modern approach to convey that message. i think it's working, because ultimately, people are here who maybe would never darken the doors of the church. >> we've been looking at the success of some protestant groups, but what about the catholic church where we started our program? it turns out there are signs of regrowth there as well. but we also find signs of deep division. more on that when we return.
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live from news headquarters. pope francis ends a whirlwind day in philadelphia. the pontiff spending his evening attending a worldwide catholic gathering, the festival of families. he spoke with a number of families, listened to musical performances, and addressed the krout. the city of brotherly love welcomed the pope with a parade down benjamin franklin parkway, around city hall, then back up the parkway to the festival site. he arrived in philadelphia earlier in the day and gave his blessing to a number of children there to greet him. he'll finish his first-ever visit to the u.s. celebrating mass tomorrow afternoon. an estimated 1.5 million people are expected to attend. the pope flies back to the vatican tomorrow night. i'm anita vogel. for all your headlines, logon to
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now back to bill hemmer. so far, we've seen that even as the pope's visit stirs up excitement, polls suggest christianity in america is on the decline. some catholic churches are closing. but there are also indications the future is not quite so dire. in late february, more than 100 young women from all over converged on ann arbor, home to the university of michigan, a hot bed of progressive thought. they're visiting a convent. the dominican sisters of mary mother of the eucharist, one of the youngest and fastest growing convents in the nation. this is called a vocation retreat. each one will decide if she wants to spend her life as a nun. in today's career-driven world, it may seem an unusual choice.
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but perhaps these young women are driven by other factors. >> i've always wanted to be a doctor, but i'm open to whatever god wants me to do. >> one of them is jane thomas, a senior at harvard, studying evolutionary biology. >> i have applied for a fullbright. so i might be in mexico next year studying holler monkey microbes. >> it can be an odd sensation to be pulled in two directions at one time. >> i don't really know why i'm here, except that in prayer i felt like it was what god wanted me to do. so here i am. >> another young woman at the retreat, christina serena, is a senior at the university of notre dame. >> the original plan was to become an engineer. but then when i got to know their game, i decided that, no, i think i'm actually called to become a theology professor. so when god asked me to consider a religious vocation, i thought, no, god, i already gave up
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science, what more do you want? >> the dominican sisters feel like the perfect fit. >> it's a story of falling in love. when you meet a guy, and you like him, you don't think about all the reasons why you like him. you just know that you do. >> rachel uric came here from bismarck, north dakota. >> this is the third time i've been here. i came here my sophomore year of high school. i came with one of my priests. i was like, i don't want to be a sister. i had never thought about it. >> but she's had plenty of time to think about it since. >> how many have attended the retreat before? how many are brand-new? and these retreats really do work. >> sister joseph andrew is one of the founders of this order. >> coming from all over the globe. >> she welcomes the young women at each retreat. >> you set aside your life for 24 or 48 hours, whatever it is
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to say, god, speak. >> the young women stay overnight on the floor of a classroom, where they may one day teach. they'll hear from sisters on what to expect if they enter the order, and have a private discussion with sister joseph andrew herself. but the whole process is a lot longer than a weekend. if they decide to join and are accepted, it takes years. first, there will be a post ulens, and then only after that do they take the final vows. the dominican sisters are bucking the downward trend in american catholicism. since its inception in 1997, they have grown from four founders to 120 sisters with an average age of 30. sister joseph andrew thinks that the order's success has a lot to do with its focus on what young people are looking for. >> i meet young people all over the united states, and sometimes
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even beyond. i think where we can miss it with young people is we don't trust their desire to sacrifice for what they love and believe in. >> there's so many different things that people turn to, to try to find happiness. and enjoy peace and love. and a lot of things that the culture is like, hey, go do this. and people are finding it there. i think my generation is realizing where you can find it. and that's in christ. >> the dominican sisters are considered a more conservative order, as symbolized by their traditional dress, which most american sisters shed in previous decades. >> i think it's most beautiful, because when i get to receive my habit and wear it, i'll be a visible witness for christ, to the world, all the time. >> the women stayed up all night in the chapel asking god whether they belonged there. when the weekend was over, two out of three were sure of their path. >> this is my dominican family, and my vocation, and exactly
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where god wants me to be. >> i walked out of there smiling ear to ear. i don't know, it was just like even today when we pulled up to the mother house, i couldn't stop smiling. >> only jane wasn't sure. not yet anyway. >> the weekend really exceeded my expectations. not signing up quite yet, but i don't know what will happen. >> jane hasn't ruled out religious life. but will first accept that fulbright scholarship she applied for and work in mexico doing research. meanwhile, christina and rachel are two of a dozen young women who joined the dominican sisters in august. when we return, more signs of resurgence among catholics in america. but also signs of possible trouble. but also signs of possible trouble. just like eddie, the first step to reaching your retirement goals is to visualize them.
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tell your doctor about all the medicines you take and if you have any medical conditions. so talk to your doctor, and for details, visit just like eddie, the first step to reaching your retirement goals is to visualize them. then, let the principal help you get there. join us as we celebrate eddie's retirement, and start planning your own. in addition to the dominican sisters we just met in michigan, there are other examples of a resurgence among catholics in america. in july, people came from all over the country to steubenville, ohio. an old steel town in the appalachian foothills. it's also home to franciscan university, where steubenville conferences began.
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a series of revival type of events for children, teens and adults. >> we're celebrating the summer, our 40th anniversary of the summer conferences. >> dr. scott hahn, a theology professor at san fris can university, as well as author of more than 40 books, believes we're in a crisis. >> what seemed to be unthinkable 20 years ago, now feels like it's unstoppable. and now traditional morality is considered weird. i mean, that's weird. >> this adult conference held in the last weekend in july was called defending the faith. who are you defending the faith against? >> we have an aggressive form of the atheism. >> to hahn, the attacks from the outside have caused trouble on the inside. >> we have so many people who are not really practicing their faith. especially in the u.s. we've got so many american catholics who are like nine part american and maybe one part catholic.
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>> you're arguing today that we've become more secular as a nation? >> yeah. >> where do you see that? >> in the water supply, and in the air. it's like, where don't you see it. >> what causes that? >> i think we've driven god out of the public square. and in the process what we've done is witness the forces of secularization that are rushing in to fill the vacuum. >> yet the turnout to confere e conferences like this shows that the negative statistics don't tell the whole story. >> there's enormous upswing. it's not going to be conspicuous in surveys, because i think it's happening in marriages, in families, it's happening on college campuses as well. >> you're arguing there's an awakening. >> oh, yeah. >> hahn should know. he himself is a convert to catholicism. >> i was like the most unreachable kid in my high school. and yet, jesus christ found me. and i found a life. it really caught fire. >> scott hahn's calling, dr.
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hender shot, this renewal, she said, are those who stay true to the traditional. you would argue the traditional church has greater strength. >> absolutely. >> than a church that evolves. >> our changes with the culture. we could never be part of the culture. the church is countercultural. >> san fris can university is a prime example of traditional teachings, not cultural currents. the students we talked to might be young, but the faith they follow is old. you feel you were called to be here? >> i really do. the thing that appealed to me was the fact that there is a true catholic culture present here on campus, where the soul is the faith. >> you have thousands of teenagers.
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teenagers, you know, praying out loud, worshipping god all together as one. it was amazing. >> this is a group on campus for students committed to joining the priesthood. one is luke, a graduate of the naval academy who left flight school to come to sanfriscan. >> he said he would never be able to get the same joy he got from being a priest. the joy that i experienced in flight school doesn't even compare to the joy that i feel here. >> when we return, we'll come back to new york city where many churches have closed. and look at how one catholic church is navigating the cross-currents within the faith.
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we just heard that some traditionalists best chance of renewal is embracing orthodoxy. but one church has its own way of facing the tension in modern catholicism. >> brothers and sisters, be subordinate to one another out of reverence to christ. >> i grew up in a small town in a catholic family, went to a jesuit university and i went to a catholic law school. >> matthew is a 30-year-old lawyer living in new york city. he attends mass at the church of st. paul the apostle every sunday. >> why do i go to church? it is to me a sense of community, a moral compass, a way to order one's life. >> he also happens to be gay, openly so since college.
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>> it's important that gays and lesbians know what the church teaching is. homosexuality is not a sin in and of itself. >> father gilbert martinez is the pastor of st. paul the apostle. >> what is considered sinful is homosexual acts. it's important to make that distinction. >> father gill oversees an outreach program to the lbgt program called out at st. paul, which has about 120 active members. what is your message to lbgt catholics? >> it's the message of the gospel. we don't do it any differently for anybody that walks in the church, that they are loved by god and invited to live their lives in faith by sharing that love. >> it seems to be working. his church is crowded on sundays and what's more, attracts a relatively young congregation. >> one of the conflicts for the younger generation is the
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church's response to homosexuality. this has been a big issue for young people. >> as a pastor, does the church offer to heal homosexuality? >> no, i think that can be very harmful. >> how come? >> we don't consider it sinful and i believe we have to continue to take people where they're at. they understand themselves to be homosexual and then they can decide whether they can be chaste. others will say i understand what the church teaches, but i know that my life is -- i'm called to be in a loving relationship. >> the parish, the diocese that does this might have the best intentions in mind. father frank pavone, director of priests for life, is concerned that the church needs to make clear what its teachings are through words and action. they might, in their mind be saying yes, we uphold the
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church's teaching. but we want to reach out to these people to make them know that they are welcome here, as well. now, my problem is this -- you have a responsibility to reach out to your entire flock and avoid scandal. and what scandal means is, i raise now a doubt in the minds of my people about what the church's teaching really is. >> the church will open its doors, but according to him, it cannot give the impression it condones any sin. >> we're not going to apologize for saying they are at odds in teaching with the church. they are coming to a community that believes marriage is between a man and woman. but i'm convinced many people are running with this in the wrong division and that's wrong. >> some see father gill's church as following the lead of pope francis and his statements about homosexuality. a question by a reporter was asked about gay priests.
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he said if someone is gay and he has good will, who am i to judge? >> those shattering five words. more or less, he did plagiarism from whom? jesus. he's saying really all i did is quote jesus, which is my job. >> a member of st. paul's thinks the catholic church's tone has changed because of the pope. >> i think when you have pope francis saying more pro gay statements than you've heard in the past, i'm not going to say that the church is more accepting. i foeel like it is more acceptig than before. >> as long as pope francis continues to say, whole ato judge, people in your ministry will be okay with it? >> that's where we are now. >> as a gay catholic, i think
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you are automatically confronted with a number of issues that seem at odds with being both. it's something that i still struggle with daily and i think a lot about. right now i feel like i'm at particular place with this parish, that i feel welcome, that i feel i'm not being judged and i feel hopeful this is what the catholic church should be. >> so as pope francis prepares to say goodbye to america, though there are troubling trends, many people positive about the future of the church. do you think pope francis can lead a revival in the catholic church? >> yes, i do. i don't think you have to use the future tense. the perception of the catholic church, even among some of our catholic people, is we're a nagging, crabby, oppressive, corrupt, worn-out church. pope francis is breaking that
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perception. what people are seeing is there's a revived interest in the catholic faith. people who have perhaps been bruised or drifted eed are tak second look. >> nevertheless, there's the concern among some catholics that the message of the church not be lost in the flurry of excitement over a new pope. >> the creed is not a question mark. the creed is an exclamation point. and the pope is the one entrusted by god, whose primary responsibility for making that exclamation point clear. now, part of that exclamation point is the compassion and mercy of god. but the pope ironically is the one who is primarily responsible for making this keeping clear. so the last thing we want is that he would be the one making people feel like the teaching is unclear. >> do you believe the church needs to reinvent itself?
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or do you find that perhaps young people, perhaps adults themselves are more attracted to the traditional teachings of the faith? >> i have no doubt in my mind that there is something e irresistible about this tradition. the living tradition of the church will never be timely in any culture, but it is timely. so people in every culture are going to lay hold of it and discover this is life giving in a way that fads will never be. >> jesus told peter, upon this rock i will build my church. but today, the fear is the rock itself is crumbling. some believe what holds up the church are traditions and beliefs going back thousands of years. but others insist those traditions must respond to a changing world.
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the difficult question is, which path to follow. it's not an exaggeration to say the church's future may depend on that answer. that's our show. thanks for watching. i am totally blind. and sometimes i struggle to sleep at night, and stay awake during the day. this is called non-24. learn more by calling 844-824-2424. or visit new citracal pearls. dedelicious berries and cream. soft, chewable, calcium plus vitamin d. only from citracal. shift without a disaster.a my bargain detergent couldn't keep up, so i switched to tide pods. they're super concentrated, so i get a better clean. 15% cleaning ingredients or 90%? don't pay for water. pay for clean! that's my tide.
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